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Mastering the Green: Tackling the Dreaded Three-Putt

Out on the golf course, there exists a moment of frustration that is universal among golfers – the dreaded three-putt. This unfortunate outcome can be disheartening, causing a dent in the scorecard and a blow to confidence. However, fear not, there is hope!


By examining the statistics of how often golfers three-putt, we can shed light on this common problem and highlight effective ways to improve putting skills. In this blog, we will explore the frequency of three-putts among players of different handicaps while emphasising the importance of practicing through engaging and enjoyable games.


Understanding the Statistics: To gain insight into the prevalence of three-putts, let's delve into a table highlighting the average number of three-putts per round based on golfer handicaps:



Analysing the table, we observe an expected increase in three-putts as handicaps rise. While the data may fluctuate slightly, it is clear that the lower the handicap the fewer the three-putts. However, this does not imply that low-handicap golfers are immune to three-putts and that you should expect to never three-putt again; rather, it underscores the importance of enhancing putting skills for lowering scores.


The Game-Changing Solution: So, how can we overcome this common pitfall and avoid those dreadful three-putts? The answer lies in incorporating exciting practice games that simulate real-life on-course scenarios. Engaging in games not only keeps the practice session fun and fresh but also develops crucial skills required for putting well.


1. The Ladder Drill: Set up five tees at equal distances, leading to the hole. Start at the first tee, attempting to hole the putt. If you make it, move to the next putt but If you miss, go back to the beginning. This game promotes holing out with more confidence whilst also helping you deal with pressure.


2. The "Around the World" Challenge: Place five tees in a circular pattern around the hole, forming different distances. Begin by sinking a putt from the closest tee, then move around the circle, progressively increasing the difficulty. This exercise trains your ability to putt effectively from various angles and distances, minimising the likelihood of three-putting on the course.


3. The "Pressure Putt" Simulation: Create three challenging putts (between 20 & 30ft) and all putts must finish within a putters length of the hole. If a putt finishes outside the putter length you lose a life and you must start again, the goal is to get all three putts, in a row, within one putters length and you have five lives to complete the task. If you are successful make the next series of putts longer and reduce the number of lives. This game simulates the pressure faced on the course and strengthens mental resilience while allowing you to practice more challenging putts.


Conclusion: Three-putting is a well-known foe that every golfer must face at some point. However, golfers of all levels and ages can improve their putting skill. There is no need for being physically strong and to have a tour level range of motion/flexibility. Everyone can improve their putting via simple practice games and as the table shows there is a direct correlation between a lower handicap index and less three-putts.

So, next time your at the course take a few extra minutes to play one of the three games mentioned here and over time your three-putts will reduce.

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